Break out the small violins and pull up a chair, it’s time for some revelations of mediocrity.
I’ve won stuff in the past, sure. We’ve all won something. We know what it’s like to be the Champion of the Moment.
Here’s my three Life’s Big Wins, in order by age. (I’m not including people in these wins, k? I have an awesome wife and two awesome kids, and they are totally wins, this is about competition wins / gamesmanship.)
Age 7 – “The Soccer Kick”
This is a sport played during our elementary school Olympics. Each year there’s a bunch of events and we sign up for what we like the most… I sign up for what has the least names. Already at age 7 I know that fate has decided I’m an odds man, not a skills man. I win the blue ribbon because I’m playing against only one other kid and he’s on crutches. (Thanks for signing up Timmy, otherwise they would have cancelled the event.)
Age 8 – “The Penny Social”
I’ve been given a dollar. (Thanks Mom) which in a kids mind is like, wow, that’s a hundred tickets! I browse the wares like a menu at a restaurant. I look at the price first, then the description to see if it’s something I’d like to eat. (I can have the chicken.)
I find an item with a few tickets in it. Like three or four. I unload 1/4th of my tickets in there because the odds are in my favor now, suckers. My other 75 tickets go to waste because there’s bunches of tickets in the boxes next to those “cool” items. I know this, and I’m OK with it because I’m going to win that glass sugar bowl, ash tray combo.
They call my number. I scream and the room laughs knowingly at the overexcited kid. But they don’t know me, they think I’ve won because that’s what happens to people. No, I make my own luck. My odds were like 80% of winning that.
When the prizes are being handed out, a proprietor hands the tray with the sugar bowl and ash tray on it to my mother who promptly loses her grip and lets it fall to the floor.
Well, at least the ash tray didn’t break.
Age 9 – “The Chess Tournament”
I learned how to play chess in Sept and Oct. By November it was time for the tournament. (in a class of 25, around 15 of us knew how to play, Mr. D was obsessed with the game.) My name is first on the list. Indeed, the kids who like the game the most sign up first, thus my strongest competition is right there at the top.
The first few games are rough, but I win. I work my way through the list fairly quickly after that and the last name, Timmy, well, I smoked his ass again!
Now I play Mr. D. This is where my run of luck ends, right? Nope. I beat him and he gives me a Kit Kat.
Sure there’s an outside world where the likes of Bobby Fisher reside, but to me, that little classroom encapsulated all of life and I was the best chess player in the whole world.
There’s no twist coming for this one. I’m a legitimate winner. I’ve peaked – and I’m nine years old.